How Do I Tax My Car & How Much Car Tax Should I Pay?

Owning a car isn't just about driving it well!

A big part of being a responsible car owner is ensuring that you're managing all of the costs and legalities, including fuel and maintenance, insurance and road tax (VED). If you forget about any one of these, you won't be able to drive your car.

We've already talked about the costs of road tax and the recent changes to the VED system. But many drivers are still asking, "How much does it cost to tax my car?" and, "What's the easiest way to get my car taxed?"

We're here to help with a step-by-step guide that'll show you how to tax your car.

How Do I Tax My Car?

You must keep your car taxed unless it has a SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification), even if your vehicle's road tax is £0 or you have a disability exemption certificate.

To tax your car, you'll need to have the right paperwork to hand:

  • V11
  • V5C
  • Valid MOT Certificate

When it's time to renew your car tax (every 6 or 12 months), you’ll need your reminder document (V11), a letter from the DVLA or your vehicle log book (V5C). You'll also need a valid MOT certificate, if the car is over 3 years old.*

If you've just bought a vehicle and are taxing a new or used car for the first time, you’ll need the green 'New Keeper Supplement' V5C/2 slip. Road tax can no longer be transferred with car ownership.

If you don't have any of these, don't panic! You can apply for a new V5C by filling out a V62 form from the Post Office. There'll be a £25 charge for this.

For online or phone payments, you'll need your 12-digit reference number from any one of these documents. Your car MUST be taxed before you can drive it. With online and phone payment facilities available 24-hours a day, there's no excuse.

Car dealers can also tax vehicles on behalf of their new owners ensuring that the car is ready to drive away on collection.

You can pay your car tax:

You can pay using debit card or credit card, or by cash/cheque if you're applying in person at the Post Office. You can also set up a Direct Debit online or at the Post Office.

How much will it cost to tax my car?

Failing to tax your car in time could result in a series of fines, as well as a demand for arrears in payments and/or possible scrappage of your car. It's just not worth the risk.

In recent years there've been a few changes to the car tax or VED band system with charges currently depending on vehicle emissions as well as type of engine. So, it's easy to get confused, especially when you think that annual payments can range from £0 to over £2,000.

Car tax is also different for the first year of the vehicle's registration, after which there is a flat rate, depending on your car's engine type. Your renewal reminder document (V11) will tell you how much you need to pay but if you're taxing your car for the first time or have lost your documentation, it can be difficult to figure out what you owe.

What happens to car tax when I sell my car?

If the time is right to sell or trade in your car, the value of any full months' remaining car tax will be refunded to the person who the DVLA has registered as the owner.

This will also happen if:

  • The car is written off in an accident
  • Exported to another country
  • Registered as SORN
  • The owner becomes eligible for £0 road tax.

If you still have any questions about car tax, don't leave it to chance. Get in touch with your local Swansway Dealership - we'll be delighted to help.


Ask a question about your cars road tax



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